H. C. Struve

3155 North Lincoln Avenue
Founded ca. 1902

For many years, Struve’s was the largest department store in the Lincoln-Belmont retail and entertainment district. The store was founded by Herman C. Struve, a one-time shoe retailer who gradually expanded the business into a full-line department store. During the first decade of the twentieth century, Struve operated a shoe store at 561 West Chicago Avenue. In 1904, however, he quit that location and opened a dry goods store in the Lincoln-Belmont district. Originally known as the Lake View Mercantile Co., Struve soon applied his own name to the store, calling it H.C. Struve Co. Located at 3155 North Lincoln Avenue, Struve’s prospered by attracting customers from outlying residential districts looking to avoid time-consuming trips to the Loop.

In 1929, Struve sold the business to the fledgling Goldblatt’s chain of discount department stores. Once it took over operations, the former Struve store became the fourth Goldblatt’s store in the city, joining already operating outlets at 1609 West Chicago Avenue, 47th Street and Ashland Avenue, and 91st Street and Commercial Avenue. Shortly after acquiring the Struve store, Goldblatt’s acquired several adjacent properties and announced plans to replace them with a new six-story retail emporium. Designed by Alfred S. Alschuler, the new store featured a stylish terra cotta façade emblazoned with the name “Goldblatt.” The entire structure cost more than $500,000 to build.

In the late 1990s, the upper floors of the Goldblatt’s building were converted into condominiums.

Sources: Chicago Sunday Tribune, 24 March 1929, pt. 3, pg. 1; The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago(Chicago: Chicago Directory Company, 1903, 1905, 1909, 1910); Stephen Bedell Clark, The Lake View Saga (Chicago: Lake View Trust and Savings Bank, 1985), 40.